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Congratulations to Michael Bell (MVI) who was the winner of the Bank of Ireland’s Catherine Judge Memorial Award.  The live final was held on Saturday 20th April 2013 in the Great Hall at Queen’s University, Belfast.  Michael received a cheque for £5,000 and an invitation to perform at the Sir Charles Wood Festival in August.

Competition this year was fierce, with soloists from Banbridge Academy, Cambridge House Grammar School, CIT Cork School of Music, Methodist College, RBAI, Royal Irish Academy of Music and Thornhill College.
Michael performed the following pieces:

  • Deposuit potentes from Magnificat in D by J.S. Bach
  • At the Railway Station Upway by Benjamin Britten
  • Un Aura Amorosa from Cosi fan Tutti by W.A. Mozart

Leader of the Ulster Orchestra, Tamas Kocsis, made the presentation.  Fellow judges on the panel included Ireland’s internationally renowned piano player, Una Hunt, and Dr Joe McKee.

The Award was created in memory of Catherine Judge, an employee of Bank of Ireland who passed away in August 2005, as a way of supporting a new generation of musical talent.  The Award is open to all of Ireland by encompassing it in Bank of Ireland’s Secondary Schools’ Programme.  The Award is presented annually to an exceptional solo classical musician who wishes to pursue third-level music education.

Michael has been offered a place at St. John’s College, Cambridge in September 2013 as a Choral Scholar.  He hopes to use the money for singing lessons in London whilst at university.

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